Trust Index: Presidential candidate Nikki Haley said watching TikTok makes people 17% more antisemitic. Is it true?

News4JAX is putting a statement made by presidential candidate Nikki Haley through the Trust Index regarding the rise in antisemitism and its connection to social media.

During Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate, the former South Carolina governor claimed that watching TikTok makes people “17% more antisemitic, and more pro-Hamas every thirty minutes that people are on the social media site.”

A spokesperson for TikTok claimed Haley’s statement during the debate was 100% false.

MORE | CNN fact-checks the GOP debate

In some circles, Haley is being mocked online for what she said and she has yet to clarify her words or explain. There is, however, a newly released study that Haley may have been referring to which draws a similar, but not an exact conclusion.

News4JAX spoke with a local religious leader who said he doesn’t know what statistics Haley was referring to but understands the sentiment.

“We really do need to ban TikTok once and for all, and I’ll tell you why, for every 30 minutes that someone watches TikTok every day, they become 17% more antisemitic, more pro-Hamas,” Haley said on stage.

Nikki Haley: “For every 30 minutes that someone watches TikTok every day, they become 17% more antisemitic, more pro-Hamas.”

— TheBlaze (@theblaze) December 7, 2023

Haley claimed that TikTok is a clear disseminator of antisemitic viewpoints, and implied if you visit the site, you become more antisemitic.

While Haley has yet to clarify how she made the 17% calculation, she may have been referring to a survey conducted by a company called Generation Lab last month.

An analysis of the polling data, which surveyed 1,323 Americans under 30 years old in 47 states across the nation, found that the relationship between platform usage and antisemitic/anti-Israel views surged at 17% for people who used TikTok more than 30 minutes a day, compared with 6% for Instagram users and 2% for X users (formerly known as Twitter). Generation lab did not specifically state that someone watching TikTok for 30 minutes, will ultimately become 17% more antisemitic and more pro–Hamas.

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“I haven’t personally seen any research statistics. But there’s no question that social media has become a cesspool of antisemitism, and we see its effects,” said Rabbi Shmuli Novack with Chabad at UNF.

Novack said while Haley’s math isn’t confirmed as fact, antisemitism is undoubtedly on the rise, and social media is playing a big part.

He said the Jewish community isn’t becoming despondent or depressed as a result of this rise in antisemitism, but instead, he said the hate is galvanizing the Jewish community and increasing their pride and affiliation with their religion. He said he’s happy Haley made the statement on a national stage.

“Because it’s important that we have these conversations, and that we can perhaps further develop ways to make social media a safer place,” Novack said.

The News4JAX Trust Index team gives the statement made by Haley a rating of “Not True.”

Haley’s statement makes it seem as if just by watching TikTok, a social media user will adopt antisemitic views, which simply is not true, and is in no way verifiable.

After review, we’ve found this information is Not True.

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